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Updated 2:00 PM January 13, 2004



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New center to meet growing need for outpatient procedures

To best serve ambulatory surgical patients and meet increasing demand for surgical services, the Board of Regents approved a plan Dec. 18 for a new off-site ambulatory surgery and medical procedures center.

The proposed 46,000-gross-square-foot facility, to be located east of the existing East Ann Arbor Health Center (EAAHC) on Plymouth Road, is a joint effort between the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers (UMHHC) and the Medical School to ease increasing capacity constraints on outpatient surgery and medical procedures. The building project, part of the East Ann Arbor Properties, was approved Dec. 15 by Ann Arbor Township.

The new $30 million facility will include six outpatient operating rooms, four medical procedure rooms and related support areas. The building also will have external and internal pedestrian links to provide access to EAAHC, and create additional parking. It is scheduled to be completed in fall 2005. Detroit-based architectural firm Albert Kahn Associates is set to design the project.

The facility will include six outpatient operating rooms, four medical procedure rooms and related support areas.

"With our remarkable growth in clinical, especially surgical, activity on the main medical campus, it has become very important for us to find alternative methods to continue to meet our patients' and the community's health care needs," says Dr. Robert Kelch, executive vice president for medical affairs and U-M Health System chief executive officer.

From fiscal year 2001 to FY2003, outpatient surgical activity has increased by 12.5 percent at University Hospital (UH) and 10.5 percent at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. In addition, medical endoscopies performed in the Medical Procedures Unit at UH increased by 25 percent, or 2,874 cases, during the same time period.

By building the East Ann Arbor Ambulatory Surgery and Medical Procedures Center, UMHHC and the Medical School hope to free up more operating room time at UH and Mott for patients who require the most resource-intensive surgical intervention such as transplantation, joint replacement, cardiovascular surgery and major cancer surgeries.

"I am very excited about the prospect of the East Ann Arbor Surgery Center to provide the latest in surgical treatment and to best serve the needs of our patients," says Dr. Michael Mulholland, surgeon-in-chief, UH, and the Frederick A. Coller Distinguished Chair in Surgery.

The new center has been designed to meet demand for more than 7,000 surgical cases and an estimated 2,000 medical procedures each year. UMHHC capital and Medical School resources will fund the building project.

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